Empathy is your ability to recognize and relate the emotions, feelings, and struggles of another person. Being empathetic is a crucial skill for medical equipment (ME) providers as it allows you to address patients’ pain points quickly. Without a doubt, care is the cornerstone of today’s business. You do not just sell a product or service, but take care of your customer. Look at e-commerce, everything is built around the customer and not around the seller. The same should apply to those of us in the healthcare industry.

When you provide durable medical equipment services, showing to the patient that you care about their needs and concerns improves customer experience and loyalty. If you don’t know where to start or how to be empathic to your patients’ needs, stay with us for a few minutes to learn how to integrate sales, care, and empathy. 

Allow Partial Payments 

Through co-insurance, patients are required to pay up to a certain amount of money on home medical equipment. Sometimes, insurance coverage may not include the specific equipment the patient requires. In such scenarios, patients dig into their pockets to pay for the product, associated prescriptions, and other services.

In such cases, payments can be expensive for the patient. Therefore, allowing partial payments creates a win-win situation for the provider and the patient. Forward-thinking ME providers make crucial partnerships with financial institutions to arrange for medical device bit-by-bit reimbursements from the patients. Depending on the cost of the equipment and the financial situation of the patient, you establish a consensus on the deposit amount and monthly or quarterly installments that run for a specified period. 

Adding a bit-by-bit payment system to your revenue cycle management is caring for your patients in a unique way. Some benefits of this payment system include: 

  • Promotes business continuity, especially for HME providers cut out from business by the CMS competitive bidding
  • Enables patients who cannot afford expensive but crucial medical products access to the devices they need for quality life 
  • Builds a strong provider-patient relationship, allowing your business to enjoy returning customers and referrals 
  • Removes delays and bottlenecks previously caused by out-of-pocket expenditure  
  • Eliminates bad debts as patients can flexibly pay for equipment and repairs  

Embrace Value-Based Care 

You cannot mention providing ultimate care and being empathic to patients’ financial needs while shrugging off value-based care (VBC). With this system, you provide services and equipment that reflect their true costs. This means ensuring there are no hidden fees, any form of bureaucracies, or services that unnecessarily increase the costs born by the patient. 

We’ve witnessed cases, especially in the repair of ME products, where patients complain of additional costs matted on their bills. As a provider, you must eliminate middlemen that can increase the costs of acquiring or repairing HME devices. You can also take advantage of HME automation tools to improve efficiency, and communication, and cut down costs.

The best way to provide value-based care to people in need of affordable home medical equipment is by reducing costs and delays as much as possible. Here is how you can show empathy and care via VBC as you continue to procure and sell ME products to patients: 

  • Eliminate supply-chain bureaucracies that increase the costs of healthcare 
  • Ditch manual processes in favor of automation tools that can cut down costs by up to 30% 
  • Create a clear communication channel between you and your patients to understand their pain points 
  • Track healthcare outcomes for patients you’ve sold the equipment to help you know if they’re having any issues
  • Join hands with providers on the same network to provide coordinated care and deliberately adopt a value-based care system 
  • Implement systems that speed up patient intake, document verification, billing, and delivery of equipment

Create Partnerships with Banks and Microcredit Organizations 

HME providers have traditionally offered equipment essential to delivering patient care, but simply providing crucial medical equipment isn’t enough. Instead, providers must seek partnerships with financial institutions such as banks and other lenders to help provide the much-needed equipment to patients. 

The business community and the public would want to align themselves with HME firms that play a proactive and active role in taking an extra step of ensuring all patients get the equipment they need. As a provider, it’s important to involve yourself in a patient’s recovery journey so that you can identify challenges and opportunities to provide the best care for your patients.

Since home medical devices purchase may have a high out-of-pocket cost, it’s invaluable to create strategic partnerships with credit organizations to secure financing for DMEs. Through such partnerships, you can agree with the organizations to allow bit-by-bit payments. 

Here is how you can create powerful partnerships with financial organizations:

  • Find banks and microcredit firms interested in better patient outcomes and value-based care 
  • Identify manufacturers who’re willing to provide discounts for customers who can’t afford certain equipment
  •  Align with financial institutions that provide healthcare credit cards, and negotiate for low-interest rates
  • Create powerful partnerships so that you can even open CareCredit accounts on behalf of the lender. Instead of sending patients to open an account, you’re allowed by the bank to create an account for your patients. 
  • If you have an online platform where patients buy ME, incorporate healthcare credit cards as part of the payment. 
  • In your e-commerce platform, customers can pay in parts within a certain period of time.
  • Integrate HME/DME billing software such as https://nikohealth.com/hme-dme-billing-software/ in your payment model for better efficiency and productivity.

For sure, the best way to show empathy and provide care to patients in need of durable medical equipment is to allow for flexible payment options. Enabling patients to pay bit-by-bit is a novel hack that will allow all patients regardless of their financial status to access quality healthcare. Decisions must be made quickly, that is why finance organizations’ digital ecosystem should be integrated with HME/DME software.